China to lose influence if it defies UN tribunal, says PH counsel

By , on December 11, 2015


This handout photo taken on March 17, 2015 by satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe and released to AFP by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSSI) think tank shows a satellite image of vessels purportedly dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea. The series of satellite images posted on the website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies last week show a flotilla of Chinese vessels dredging sand onto Mischief Reef and the resulting land spreading in size. Beijing on April 9 reaffirmed its right to build on the disputed islands after the satellite imagery emerged of construction operations turning tropical reefs into concrete artificial islands. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have overlapping claims in the area. (Armed Forces of the Philippines photo / CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative / DigitalGlobe)
This handout photo taken on March 17, 2015 by satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe and released to AFP by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSSI) think tank shows a satellite image of vessels purportedly dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea.  (Armed Forces of the Philippines photo / CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative / DigitalGlobe)

MANILA—Paul Riechler, the lead counsel of the Philippines at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said yesterday that China might lose its influence over Southeast Asian nations if it will defy the decision of the UN tribunal over the West Philippine Sea dispute.

“By defying a judgment, particularly if it’s a unanimous judgment, particularly if it’s well-reasoned, if it’s well-explained and if it is understood and supported by the international community… China will be branded… an international outlaw state,” Riechler was quoted as saying in a Philippine Star report.

Reichler believes that China will soon overturn its initial response.

“There’s no enforcement mechanism in any of these cases but states comply. The reason they do is that they have strong incentives for compliance among other things,” he said in the same report.

Riechler cited an occasion when US President Ronald Reagan defied the decision of the international court when it mandated the United States of America to stop it’s violation of international law by supporting military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua. The USA soon abided with the mandates of the international court.

Riechler said that China may still save it’s face with the help of Southeast Asian countries on bringing it back to a community of nations that aim for peace.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague will decide on the arbitration case filed by the Philippines in 2016.